Charles Kelley — “The Driver”

1. I haven’t been inspired to write in nearly a year. Heard lots of good songs but few great ones. Frustrated by radio that encourages “me-too” soundalikes with little substance or depth. Heard great records by Isbell, Stapleton, and such, but they get plenty of press and don’t need my two cents. But then yesterday, I heard something that shook me from my slumber. Charles Kelley’s new song (cowritten with Eric Paslay and rising writer Abe Stoklasa) isn’t the best song I’ve heard all year, but it’s more honest, real, and hooky than almost anything else I’ve heard that might have a chance at radio.

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5 Great Non-singles of 2014

I’ve done this the past two years, and it’s one of my favorite posts to write. There’s so much depth on country records that many people don’t get to. In fact, some of my favorite songs were never singles. Hope this gives you a few jumping off points on some deep records. The only rule: the song must come from an album that had a legitimate mainstream single. You can read all the 2014 non-singles lists here. In no order:

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Tom Douglas’ NSAI Hall of Fame Induction Speech

Tom Douglas writes songs with gravitas. He writes songs about real things, with weight and meaning. And here, he inspires songwriters to press harder into their craft through a brilliantly crafted speech. Watch, enjoy, and be inspired.

A Conversation with Angaleena Presley

Angaleena Presley was 30 minutes late because she was writing a song, which is forgiven, of course. Her debut LP American Middle Class releases October 14th.

So you just finished writing a song by yourself. Do you do that a lot?

It’s random that I get inspired to write by myself, because I’m rarely by myself. I just got lost in it just now.

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